He waved the papers. “Nobody’s seen this. My people don’t want me to give these to you. But I want you to read them. If you are going to do this book, you need to read this.
“These are private. These are the personal letters exchanged between me and Kim Jong-un. You can’t keep them, but I’m going to let you read them. These are amazing. This is history. I want to know what you think
Donald Trump had obviously signed on to the idea of this book, because without any prompting from me, or without a single question, he was now waving these letters—the crown jewels—before me.
“So, they don’t want me to let you see these letters, but I think you should,” he said. “I think you should. This is my personal correspondence with Kim Jong-un. I want you to read it.”
I didn’t know who he meant by “they,” the people who had told him not to show me the documents, but I assumed it wasn’t Bill or Sarah, the only others in the room. It was more likely NSA advisers, or State Department folks or intelligence experts. And they would all have good reasons to tell him not to let a writer see them. But that, of course, meant that my project was known to them, as well, and that it had been discussed.
“You can’t photograph these or copy them in anyway,” the president said. I imagined he was passing on protocols to which he had agreed.
And then he added, “Nobody will ever know how close we came to war.”